In Focus: Journalism is a Career

Posted on June 15, 2010 in Alternative Careers

Shweta Bhalla:

In this age of information, everyone wants to be aware about what is happening around them in the world. It is the media that is the source of all that information, be it print media like the newspapers and magazines; electronic media like the Internet or Audio/Visual Media like TV, Radio. And it is the ‘journalists’ who are the ones actually responsible for all that information. Believe it or not, they hold the power to influence the whole crowds with the first hand information that they possess. It is their prerogative to either be a part of the news that makes a difference or just throw utter rubbish in the name of information, for the people to tolerate.

As it is evident, journalism is a highly responsible job, and highly interesting at the same time.  If someone is looking for a career in journalism, they should have a presentable and confident personality, along with the ability to write and present information accurately and concisely. Other essential requirements that highlight a good journalist are: an inquisitive bent of mind, good writing and communication skills, ability to differentiate between fact and fiction, tact, intelligence, awareness, and interest in current affairs. Most importantly, one must be capable of handling the unforeseen situations efficiently. Politics, art, economics, business, history, sports, entertainment and many other areas are covered by journalists. If you are talented and hard working, a career in journalism is for you. It will take you to a good salary package and perhaps even fame. With the growing importance of media today, the opportunities in the field are numerous and the job is also demanding and exhilarating at the same time.

Ahead is the list of the various aspects of journalism that one can choose from along with the necessary requirements for them.

Journalism is broadly divided into two categories: Print, which consists of newspapers, journals, magazines, digests and news agencies; and Electronic, which consists of television, radio and the internet. The career options are as follows:


NEWSPAPERS: The newspapers never really fade away. Even when everything has gone digital, literally, the spread of literacy and modern printing technology ensure that newspapers continue to shape opinions in the global village of today. The career options available are as follows:

1. ASSOCIATE EDITOR: An associate editor needs to direct the preparation of a section of the newspaper or magazine. Preparation of news, featured articles and critical reviews, planning the layout and assigning the reporters and photographers is the job.

Requirements: one needs to be aware and have the ability to write, edit and question constructively.

2. SUB EDITOR: It needs you to sort the contents of the material to be printed, rewriting the articles to make them suitable for the paper, improving the language and giving appropriate and attractive headlines.

Requirements: Imagination, understanding and sense of news.

3. EDITOR: He is the key head who ensures consistency and continuity of the newspaper or magazine. The job of the editor is to present the newspaper in an attractive manner and assure that it is highly utilitarian. It also includes appointing juniors, writing the editorial section and leading the team.

4. PROOF READER: A proof reader compares the proofs with the edited copy. It involves completing the final text accurately.

Requirements: Detailed knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation.

5. REPORTER: It is the job of a key operator of a newspaper, magazine, news agency, radio or a TV channel which requires one to report with speed, clarity and accuracy.

Requirement: Sense to recognize a story, objectivity

6. CORRESPONDENT/ SPECIAL REPORTER: It requires detailed knowledge in a single field like politics, economics, sports etc; along with the ability to interpret and explain the news on the basis of the awareness.

7. WRITER: It involves choosing subjects and themes, conducting researches and assembling materials to write. There are also Feature writers who write detailed stories and commentaries on specific topics; and Leader writers, who express their ideas and views on news topics through editorial columns.






In this age of electronic media, TV and Internet ensure that we are in touch with the information and news 24/7; with speed and accuracy. This area has a lot to offer when it comes to career options.

1.    RESEARCHERS: They do all the work for the channel or the site.

Requirements: Inventive, inquisitive and imaginative.

2.    PRODUCTION WORKERS: Requires good organizational skills, ability to work independently, confidence to deal with crisis situations and sensitivity.

3.    FLOOR MANAGERS: Requires good communication skills, leadership qualities to guide and instruct others.

4.   TRANSMISSION EXECUTIVES: Requires knowledge of the art of public relations, good levels of concentration and dedication.

5.    REPORTERS: They are the primary source of news. To be a reporter one requires a good communication skill and ability to search and elaborate on all that is important.

6.    SOUND TECHNICIANS: It requires creativity, communication skills, a sense of sound effects and technical knowledge.

7.    CAMERA WORKERS: Requires artistic sense, technical knowledge, ability to work in difficult situations and adaptability.

8.    PRESENTERS: Requires good communication skills, skilled command over speech, diction and language, general knowledge, intelligence, the ability to be articulate and composed in stressful conditions and a good quality of expression.


The internet is fast emerging into an influential medium which promises updated news content at no cost. The news has to be made sharp and interesting. Editing, presentations, attractive captions are necessary and key facts have to be mentioned.


One can do a course in journalism right after passing the senior secondary examination. There is an option of doing a professional degree after completion of an undergraduate course in any subject. A background in humanities is generally preferred. The courses are offered in English, Hindi and regional languages.


1.    University of Calcutta, Senate House, 87 College Street, Calcutta 700073
– B.A. with Journalism
– M.A. in Journalism

2.    Rabindra Bharati University, 6/4 Dwarkanath Tagore Lane, Calcutta 700007
– M.A. in Mass Communication

3.    Ravi Shankar University, Raipur 492010
– Bachelor in Journalism

4.    Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005
– B.A. in Journalism
– M.A in Journalism

5.    Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi 221002
– Bachelor in Journalism
– M.A. Journalism and Mass Communication

6.    Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra 132119
– M.A. Journalism

7.    Jamia Millia Islamia, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110025
– M.A. in Mass Communication

8.    University of Delhi, Delhi 110 007
– Bachelor of Journalism
– Bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication in Hindi

9.    Pune University, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411007
– Bachelor of Journalism
– Diploma in Journalism
– Master of Communication Studies (MCMs)

10.  University of Mumbai M.G. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400032
– B.A. with Mass Media Communication as a component group subject
– B.A. in script writing and Diploma in Journalism & Mass Communication
– B.A. in Journalism (BJ)

11.  Chennai University, Centenary Building, Chepauk, Chennai 600005
– M.A. in Communication and Journalism and Certificate course in effective communication

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Shalini Sethi

Hi! I know that in order to be a news presenter or anchor one needs to be a reporter first, but for how long? If we consider the average graph, for how long one needs to serve as a reporter before becoming a news presentator or anchor? Please reply at the earliest.

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